(1947 - )
A Black Panther and later a member of the Black Liberation Army, an "urban guerrilla" group formed after the demise of the BPP. One of the most famous Panthers, she was harassed by the FBI like so many other black leftists in amerika. After being imprisoned for four years, comrades of hers broke her out of prison and several years later she escaped amerika altogether and claimed political asylum in Cuba, where she now lives. If the name "Shakur" sounds familiar that is because Assata is Tupac Shakur's aunt, and many of his songs are dedicated to her. Tupac's mother Afeni Shakur was also a Black Panther and was imprisoned while pregnant with Tupac on trumped up charges but was released before giving birth. Tupac's stepfather Mutulu Shakur is one of the comrades who broke Assata out of prison. Right-wing amerikans to this day call her a "cop killer" and demand her extradition, proving how much a strong black woman scares reactionary racists.
Assata wrote an autobiography, Assata, An Autobiography (1987) [274 pages] in which she describes her upbringing in racist amerika and the time she spent in prison. She was detained in unthinkable conditions, continuously forced to court to defend herself against never ending invented charges, almost all defeated in court by Assata. The narrative of the autobiography switches regularly from detailing her childhood to describing her horrible time in prison. This book is very important, especially for exposing the blatant racism and injustice of the amerikan legal system as well as it's prisons. The language this book uses is also very interesting, and please take the time to notice when certain words are "misspelled," for Assata wrote this book in a sort of black power language. In other words, instead of writing America she writes amerikkka, and she often uses kourt instead of court. The kkk obviously referring the the Klu Klux Klan which is the most notorious (historically) fascist group in amerikkka, and who are and were responsible for many bombings and lynchings of Africans. The k in kourt could either refer again to the KKK, or perhaps more likely in this case is an abbreviation of kangaroo court.